In the April edition, the Federal Youth Network wrote a memo begging national managers to challenge them. Here is their response.
To: The Federal Youth Network
From: The National Managers’ Community
Subject: Rocking our world
Thank you for taking the time to formulate your thoughts and ideas to us. We are committed to engaging new federal public servants and the Youth Network members so you can make a real difference to the public service and the lives of Canadians. We took your concerns and suggestions to heart and have discussed your letter with many managers. The following is our response on their behalf.
We will engage you whenever possible. We want to include you in more meetings and discussions both in person and virtually for the good of the organization. Sometimes there are organizational constraints that may prevent us from doing so to the extent you would like, but as much as possible, we will involve you and help you have more access to strategic information. We also ask that you create opportunities for us to come and informally chat with you from time to time.
Recognize and utilize our abilities
We recognize that you may be from a different generation and that you have different strengths and expertise than we have. We rely on you to mentor us with respect to new technologies. Share your ideas about how we can use technology for collaborative work and to make our processes and systems more efficient and effective. Let us know more about your other strengths and areas of expertise, too. A great way to use your skills is often in new projects and initiatives and we encourage you to volunteer for special initiatives.
Give frequent, honest and constructive feedback – and let us provide feedback
We totally agree with you on the need to have ongoing two way communication. We will do our best to provide you with the level of feedback you require. If you feel the feedback you are getting from your manager is not specific enough, we encourage you to ask for clarification. Managers welcome upward feedback from their employees as an important aspect of performance measurement.
Provide us with challenges
There is a lot of challenging, interesting and important work in the federal public service. We will strive to demonstrate the value of your work and how it contributes toward achieving organizational goals and objectives. Each person’s role and the work they do is vital to the team’s deliverables. We recognize your desire to be challenged and will be on the lookout for opportunities to challenge you based on your interests, aspirations, strengths and expertise, as we do for all our staff. We are really open to hearing from employees who want to do more challenging work or take on extra projects.
Strive to be a dynamic leader
Leaders exist in every level and position within an organization. We encourage you to develop your own leadership skills as we work to improve and develop our own. We too continue to grow as leaders and in doing so are eager to involve you in this journey. In terms of trusting you and using your competencies, this is something that good managers should be doing with all their employees.
Thanks for reminding us of the things that matter to you because, frankly, they matter to us, too. We weren’t always managers and we got here because, like you, we expected more and wanted to make a difference. We are all here to serve, and the more we hear your voices and work with you, the better the chance for success.
We are heading towards very challenging times. We need your enthusiasm, your questioning, your passion, and when we can’t give you what you need, your understanding. Ours is a long game, measured in years not in days, and patience is a necessary competency. Keep proposing new ideas, new ways of doing, new ways of being. You have allies and friends all over the public service who want many of the things you do. Some of us are young, some of us are just young at heart.
The National Managers’ Community